FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Seeking to capitalize on Kentucky’s economic momentum, Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday offered to inject money into the development of new industrial development sites and the construction of a research in the Appalachians to promote the state’s agro-tech sector.
The governor said his budget plan calls for the use of $ 250 million to develop a site identification and development program. The goal is to allow the state’s business recruiters to tout more Kentucky sites that are “dumped in” for industry prospects, Beshear said.
“This fund will help communities develop small industrial or commercial sites to make them bigger,” he said. excellent employer, he is ready to go.
Bluegrass State turned one of those mega-sites into a godsend last year, when Ford and a partner selected little Glendale, Ky. To build twin factories to produce batteries to power electric vehicles. The project will create 5,000 jobs.
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It was the second day in a row that Beshear unveiled parts of the budget he will present to the legislature in a speech Thursday night broadcast on statewide television.
To promote the state’s burgeoning agro-tech industry, its budget plan will include $ 75 million for an agro-tech research and development center in eastern Kentucky, the governor said.
“We want to make sure that we are not only where we grow the food of the future, but where the ideas come from,” he told a press conference. “Where the research is, where the intellectual capital is. That we put a stake in the ground and say that the high paying jobs…, the research, the next breakthroughs, the intellectual property is going to be in eastern Kentucky. .
Beshear said his spending demands were well within the state’s means, amid record income surpluses and unprecedented highs in business investment and job creation across the state. ‘Status in 2021.
The Democratic governor will have to sell his proposals to the Republican-dominated legislature. With veto-proof majorities, GOP lawmakers will have the final say on the state’s next biennial budget. Some GOP leaders prefer more restrained spending, warning that the economy has benefited from huge amounts of federal aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic. House Republicans broke with tradition last week by tabling their budget bill before receiving the governor’s proposals.
Beshear said it was time for big investments, with the state sitting on huge revenue surpluses.
“It’s the best chance of my life to make this state everything we’ve ever dreamed of,” Beshear said at a press conference Tuesday. “Each of these (proposals) is smart, fiscally sound, and an investment that will pay off in the future. And no proposal is red or blue, Democrat or Republican. They are all just good for our families.
Another key proposal released on Tuesday would invest $ 200 million to modernize the state park system, pay for maintenance and repairs, and fund new projects.
Beshear also proposed to use $ 250 million from the State General Fund to support three large-scale infrastructure projects: widening the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky and building two bridges over the Ohio River, the one in western Kentucky and the other in northern Kentucky.
He proposed to allocate nearly $ 185 million over three years to respond to a state game that would release roughly $ 775 million in federal money for the construction of roads and bridges across Kentucky.
The governor also presented funding proposals to develop an electric vehicle charging network, modernize sewage and water systems, improve airports and strengthen workforce development.
Beshear’s budget would spend $ 100 million to expand the electric vehicle charging network. State funds would be used to unlock federal funds that would cover much of the work, he said.
“If we want to be at the forefront of electrification, we have to invest in it,” said the governor. “We cannot make the batteries of the future and not have charging stations for these cars.”
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